What happens when you treat your priority list like toilet paper?
Priority lists come in very handy and have a definite place in an organised lifestyle. Some of us hate them and refuse to use, abide, create one, others just love the ‘back up plan’ in form of a list. Let us start and have a look at the non-conformer of these little lists.
A free-spirited person, thinking about themselves as open minded, different and slightly more enlightened than mainstream, might look at the common priority list with a kind of aloof facial impression. Never mind it being an ordinary piece of paper, possibly stuck with a magnet and a lesser quality writing utensil on the fridge door, or the more modern and advanced version of a digital to-do-list in a fancy notepad on a more or less fancy digital device. And here comes the immediate trigger in the shape of a pressurised ‘to-do-list’. Priority and to-do can equally release a flood of counter arguments within the mind of the non-conformer. Some of these arguments might include: I don’t need to do this; I’m deciding what, when and how and the all-time favourite of ‘You don’t tell me what to do’. Ironically all of the mentioned counter arguments can happen either between 2 or more people sharing the same household or within the privacy of one’s own mind, which makes this discussion even more peculiar.
The rebel (with or without cause) that resides to a greater or lesser degree within all of us, will always find a reason for non-conforming, heroically defending its perceived freedom. Devoted to a life lived in accordance to the principle of freedom, this part often looses sight of productivity, achievement and efficiency. While fighting for the cause, of course. What is the cause you might asked? And who is there to fight? When holding on to principle at all costs for the honourable achievement of serving a higher ideal, it is easy to lose sight of the simple things in life. Like productivity, efficiency, achievement. There is a corelation of time spent reasoning why something shouldn’t be done which is mostly equal to the time required getting it done.
And here is the lover of lists. Pinning everything down, organised with a high-quality writing utensil, stuck firmly in the correct height on the wall, in perfect position for maximum impact in the perfect location within the right kind of flow of feng shui energy in the home. Productivity, efficiency and achievement is eminent. It is expected and summoned. This overly self-disciplined person might get so caught up in crossing out the priorities and being on track, that the lightness and fun-loving side within gets totally forgotten. A quite common result of this overly driven attitude is a total collapse of activity ending in complete slosh mode with a generous helping of overwhelm and self-pity.
I would cautiously state that this internal dilemma is far older than we might think and, in all modesty, would like to offer a new approach to finding a possible solution. My suggestion is toilet paper. Toilet paper is very useful and necessary at times. It comes within a generous supply per roll (250 sheets or more) and when you tear off a piece or two or three, you are thankful for having it and put it to it good use. No internal conflict, no internal discussion about higher ideals, rather a more down to earth approach of getting on with it. With a sense of thankfulness and appreciation. And when the roll is done, you’re happily replace it with another one to repeat the process all over.
How much easier would our internal and external life be if we can all approach priority lists like toilet paper? Tear off a piece or two or three, do what’s needed and simply get on with it. Less chasing of lofty ideas, less fighting for a cause and living according to principle only. Keeping the higher ideals in mind while being productive, efficient and achieving something. This just might be the answer for being in balance and harmony within self and the environment.